Look what happens.... I take two weeks holiday and come back to fund we're ranked 2nd in the world at ODIs - which says all that needs to be said about world ranking systems, bearing in mind we've failed to beat New Zealand twice this year, yet are now - officially, better than them.
It's just a shame the Champions Trophy has been cancelled. On a related point - will Australia ever tour Pakistan again? Worth asking.
A few more points to cover off before I start the unpacking -
Surrey are trying to sign Shoaib Aktar for the last month of the season - a move that even their coach, Alan Butcher, has admitted is a 'last throw of the dice'. The immediate media response has predictably been that Surrey are buying their place in Div 1 - followed by attacks on the 2 division system that leads to such actions. I'd much rather they criticised the system that allows Surrey to this rather than the structure of the championship. After all, the current situation means that at least five counties are in with a shout of winning the championship - and an equal number could still go down, so it must be doing something right.
Maybe domestic cricket needs a transfer window - or counties should name a squad and stick to it throughout the second half of the season.
Marcus Trescothick's autobiography has hit the shelves. It's been charmingly described as 'joyless' by Athers - although Tresco did actually agree with that! - though I doubt it will be the cover endorsement used by the publishers. Surprise, surprise, rather than the extraordinary story about Trescothick's struggles whenever he leaves the country - and the whole issue of stress related illnesses in international cricket (Lou Vincent, Shaun Tait...) the 'big story' has been the revelation that England were using sugar on the ball to aid reverse swing in 2005.
The Aussies are all over the story like, well - kids in a sweetshop, Tone and pals at the forefront. so you have to ask, was that sugar-free gum Warne was storing in his sock in 2005 (doubt it...) and the stuff permanently on display in Ponting's mouth - sugar-free too?
I've mentioned here before how Tuffers is becoming essential listening on TMS, and the story my cab-driver (who happens to be our Sunday skipper...) told me on the way back from the airport simply adds to the legend. Tufnell and Aggers were talking about the venues for the ODIs, and referred to the Cardiff ground as Sophia Gardens. He then corrected himself by recalling that the new ground has a sponsors name - 'Spandex, or something!' Presumably the gunshot you heard five seconds later was the head of marketing for SWALEC (the actual sponsors) finding blessed relief through the good services of trusty service revolver.